Saturday, October 28, 2006


I would have given up on blogging for this month too if I did not have such wonderful blog land friends who leave me nice comments making me feel truly valued. As I have briefly mentioned before I have been working towards my master's degree with a secondary teaching license in family and consumer science. I have been student teaching for the past six weeks and have six more weeks to go, I have been working well over 60 hours a week doing all that has been required of me (4 credit hours of classwork) as well as handling a full time teaching load (6 credit hour state requirement). December 13 I will have completed the work for a teaching license. Because I have so much paperwork to complete in order to prove that I understand and can demonstrate my state teaching standards in addition to the laws pertaining to the national no child left behind legislation and several more things in addition to teaching all day and planning for the next day classes with a written lesson plan that demonstrates my understanding of research based teaching methods......whew. I am lucky to catch a few winks!
But I grin and bear it. I can endure for six weeks more, I want the license.

I teach two sections of foods classes as well as three other classes. The junior/senior foods class is in the middle of the grains unit. I had them cook up a variety of grain dishes on Friday to assess their understanding of differing grain cooking methods learned throughout the week. Here is a picture of the few leftovers. Carrie, I read your request for more bread.... next week my class will be making big mall style yeast bread pretzels. I love this time of year with Thanksgiving coming up, although I won't be able to do as much as I would like this November, come Christmas (I'll have four wonderful weeks off) and I am looking forward to sharing I will share more bakehouse goodies.

All of my lab recipes came from Bryanna Clark Grogan's Fiber for Life Cookbook. I cannot say they were ALL loved by ALL students, but the majority said they liked these dishes. All students tried them and had the opportunity to evaluate to think about how they might change the recipe to suit their personal tastes. These recipes were also all vegan, my classes know this about me. Sure I have to tell them about non-vegan foods, but according to research based teaching method results they remember 10% of what I tell them and 50% of what I show them and 75-85% of what I have them discover for themself. I did say I only TELL them about some food products and others I have them discover for themself others.

Grains used:
CORN - Quick Chili "Beef" Pie. I pre-made some vegetarian "beef" crunbles to be added to this dish. My students all know I am vegan, which is cool with them. This dish was second favorite. This dish is basically a medium thick chili in a pan with dallops of cornbread muffin mix dropped in the top. The pan is covered for 12 minutes while the muffin mix expands and cooks. Spoon up like a casserole.

RYE - Oriental Noodle Salad made with 100% rye rotini pasta. They said this tasted like a stir fry but with noodles. The dark color of the rye noodles was judges as unappealing by half the class, but they liked the flavor. Suggestions included using a lighter color rotini noodle and leaviong out the brocooli to improve.

BROWN BASMATI RICE (long grain) - Fruited Brown Basmati Rice Salad. Many said yum, but this sweet and savory salad that I have taken to many potlucks was evaluated as more pretty than delish. Several students said they were a bit freaked out by the peas and raisins in the same dish together. Instant brown rice could be used to speed the prep time, but a rice maker can make this just as easy when you have the extra time.

ROLLED OATS - Oatmeal Vegetable Soup. This one surprised many students, they liked it and the rolled oats puffed up making it seem like a soup with little alphabet pasta noodles in it (not pictured, because it was eaten up).

SHORT GRAIN BROWN RICE - Dreena's Evan-illa Rice Pudding... except we used Arrowhead Mills organic short brown rice that I cooked one hour the night before. This dish was not liked, but loved by every student.

In class this week as we learned about grains I taught the students how easy making fresh pasta is as we made Bryanna's Homemade vegan Pasta recipe from the cookbook, Nonna's Italian Kitchen. I have an ATLAS hand crank pasta maker that I picked up from a consignment shop for $8 which I took in to crank out their homemade noodles. The students made white rice (time constraints for brown rice) on the stove to demonstrate their understanding of the process of making rice, while I made brown rice in my rice maker for them to sample the difference between brown basmati and regular long grain brown rice. They ate this sprinkled with cinnamon sugar and loved it.... cheap and easy eating. In an intro class we made fresh apple crisp in the microwave to orient them to the kitchen and allow them the opportunity to demonstrate their cutting skills.

I really enjoy what I am doing with the students and I have heard many students say that they made what we made in class at home and they really liked it from several students... these comments are SO gratifying!
She sticks out like a sore thumb, but is on the mend. Poor thing shut her thumb in the car door before 7 am jazz band practice (half a sleep I guess) and broke the bone in between the joint and her knuckle.

And the other patient... gosh darn it. His was not an accident, but an ingrown toenail on both sides of his big toe that had been clipped twice in the past six months. The ingrown portion causing infection was deep within his toe, unreachable except by an experienced podiatrist. He is on the mend also and said even though what was done hurts, it is nothing like the pain he had before the treatment.

On the mend, but doing well. Life is busy for all of us and I miss the opportunity of eating together regularly... thank god for the weekends and that we make Sunday a family day in addition to the knowing that my kids still like to have watch at home movies with mom and dad on a Friday night.

Want to check on our life as a feline foster family... click on the link below!


Friday, October 20, 2006

I'm Back!

Thanks for the well wishes and comments during my absence. I went through blog withdrawal, but with all the growing kittens around me I have been kept way, way busy outside of teaching. As far as I am aware the group that I am fostering with has three placements for the kittens. So far one little one (the yellow tiger) is not spoken for. In addition to the four we are fostering Sophie one of the other foster cats had four babies two weeks later. They are almost four weeks old balls of fluff.

Family wise: The first night I had access to my computer again Melissa decided to shut her thumb in the car door - it broke the bone in between her joint and knuckle. Then Matthew had a serious infection in his big toe that has been on and off for several months. He now has to have 1/2 his toenail removed and they will do something to it so that it will never grow back.

Food wise: I have missed the food competitions while I have been away! I will be slow in posting for a couple of weeks because I want to spend a little bit of time catching up with my blog land foodie friends. My favorite food while I am working over 60 hours a week has been the canned bean soups I had prepared previous in jars.... black bean, split pea, corn chowder, and lentil stew. That and some good whole grain bread can keep me satisfied for many, many meals.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

I'm away until Oct 18.

Hi blog friends.  I am moving my computor area and getting a different setup at home.  My new stuff will be set up in a couple of weeks, in the mean time I have "unplugged".  I get to use the library computer, but can't upload pictures etc.  I look forward to sharing and reading in blogland as I have before soon.  :)